Prequel in High-Fashion Mystery Series Remembers Author’s Tumultuous Time at Bullocks

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Webs of Fate by Darlene Quinn

Quinn draws from her experience at Bullocks in newest novel of fashion intrigue.

Darlene Quinn’s newest novel, “Webs of Fate” (www.darlenequinn.net), takes readers into the high-fashion retail scene of mid-1980s California for mystery, romance and high-level corporate power plays.

“Webs of Fate” is a prequel to “Webs of Power,” Quinn’s 2009 National Indie Excellence Award winner, and “Twisted Webs,” a 2011 Indie Award and International Book Award for Fiction/Literature winner. Her latest web of deceit and intrigue, published in October, earned a Readers Favorite Award for General Fiction before it hit the stores.

The tale’s protagonist is Ashleigh McDowell, who fans already know as a main character in the first two novels. She’s a high-level executive in Human Resources at Bentleys Royale, a tony department store where top-selling employees earn 24-karat gold-plated associates’ badges studded with diamond chips. 

Ashleigh’s protégé and friend, a naïve young buyer named Danielle, has disappeared, leaving a trail of evidence implicating her in serious financial shenanigans at Bentleys. Ashleigh is fairly alone in believing that Danielle is innocent, but the only way to find out for sure is to find her.

As Ashleigh’s detective work brings her ever closer to danger, her employer — like so many department stores of the 1980s — is fighting for financial survival and preparing to make some deep cuts. Ashleigh’s also beginning to have second thoughts about her boyfriend, a corporate raider who makes it clear he has no time to help Ashleigh find her friend. And she discovers a surprising, and handsome, ally in a fellow executive.

“Webs of Fate” draws on the author’s experience as part of the upper management team for Bullocks Wilshire Specialty Department Stores, now Macy’s Inc. Her reign came during a tumultuous time for fashion-oriented conglomerates, many of which closed. The executive-level sword play and intense relationships she watched flicker to life, flame and fade inspired her novels.

“It took me back to the area that I grew up in and brought back memories of some of the great department stores of the time that no longer exist,” wrote Amazon.com reviewer Ranchwood. “It was difficult at times to put the book down as the mystery unfolds and the characters relationships become more complicated.”

About Darlene Quinn

Darlene Quinn is an author and former free-lance journalist from Long Beach, Calif. Her first published novel, “Sizzling Cold Case,” was a posthumous collaboration with the late actor Buddy Ebsen.

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